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Autumn (Fall) Equinox

2016 - The Underlying Balance of Harvest Thanksgiving - Tara

2015 - Sun, Moon and Me - Seomra Tara

2014 - Deireah Fhomhair - Fourknocks

2013 - Review & 'way forward' - Tara

2012 - Colin's Journey, Chrysalis Phase - Dowth

2011 – Winding Down, End of the Journey - Mornington Beach

2010 – Endings & Rememberings - Dowth

2009 – Thanks to Mother - Tara

2008 – Harvest Thanksgiving - Tara

2007 – Dream Bag into winter – Tara

25 September 2016 - The Underlying Balance of Harvest Thanksgiving

Our Autumn Equinox Celebration will be held on Sunday 25th September 2016 at the Hill of Tara, Co. Meath

 

meet at the entrance gate at 6.15pm

 

In keeping with the theme of "Equinox" (which literally means "equal night"),

 

half of the celebration will be before sunset while the other half will be in the darkness after sunset.

 

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As we meet near the entrance to the Hill of Tara, our celebration will begin with a short discussion about Autumn Equinox approximately one hour before sunset. We will acknowledge how other cultures celebrated this time in the past as well as those around the world who will be united with us in spirit at this time.

 

This will be an active hour and in keeping with this, we will walk to a remote part of Tara - with an East/West alignment - where we will continue our activities in a (hopefully) quiet space. Once there, we will call in the directions/elements and open our circle. There will be sharing of harvest fruits/berries/food, open-heart contributions and drumming as the sun goes down.

 

Once the darkness arrives, it will be time for introspection, quiet time. What did we personally harvest from plans made earlier in the year? Were plans made? Why? Why not? As the darkness prevails from here on, nature winds down and so we too wind down. Outdoor activities are replaced by nights in by the fire, many people start their daily duties in the dark and finish them in the dark.

 

There will be a meditation on the theme of abundance - an abundant harvest makes for an easier winter! As there is a close connection between Equinox and the newer tradition of Michaelmas (Sept 29th), there will also be a piece after the meditation around the energy/guide/angel commonly referred to as Archangel Michael.

 

All are welcome to our non-denominational celebration and you are advised to dress appropriately for being outdoors, after sunset, at the end of September in Ireland! (Probably no harm to bring an umbrella as well...on the off-chance that it might rain). Please bring some food to share - especially food from the last harvest! Also, weather permitting we may be sitting for meditation so bring along a blanket or portable stool. A drum would be a great idea but only if you can get your hands on one. "Open-heart contributions" consist of anything that any individual would like to share with the group on the day - a poem, meditation, picture, article etc. Of course the underlying theme of the celebration is about balance - light and dark, Yin and Yang etc.

 

We're looking forward to seeing you there.

 

Click here for more of the words and quotes used in the event

 

Below is a view from our Celebration spot on Tara. The cloud is a cumulo nimbus with ancil top. A heavy downpour can be seen to the clouds base

 

Cumulo nimbus cloud

 

Comments from the Host:

 

All day the wind and rain assaulted Ireland, hurtling in from the West, dropping copious amounts of water on our little country. Wave after wave it came, between periods of blue sky and sunshine. I started receiving messages about our Equinox celebrations planned for later that same evening: "not looking good for tonight", "I won't make it in that weather", "maybe head for the cover of the trees later". My answer was pure traditional Irish - based on years of study, the experience of our Ancestors and blind faith in the Divine... "It'll be grand".

 

It WAS grand as we met at the entrance to the Hill of Tara, County Meath, Ireland, where there were a few words spoken about September Equinox customs throughout the world past and present. Nine sets of pages of information about the celebration were handed out... Ten were printed but you can't win 'em all.

 

We then walked across the Hill to a series of mounds with a West-East alignment which meant, as Martin explained, as the sun set our shadows would point eastwards behind us. Lovely idea, except for the fact that the sun was behind an enormous cloud which was quite clearly dumping its contents on the unfortunate inhabitants of the Midlands. We carried on regardless.

 

Having called in the circle, we spoke about the underlying themes of this celebration - Balance and Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving for another bountiful harvest from Mother nature and also from any plans we made earlier in the year. There was a distinct balance in how we celebrated this occasion between what it meant in the outer world and what it meant to us personally, deep inside each individual.

 

As we ceremoniously shared the harvest and shared Open Heart contributions from each person present, the first hour had passed, the hour before sunset and the last light of the day. For his contribution, John got us to scan the skies for 360°. Everywhere on the horizon there were clouds visible but above us, above Tara, there was a beautiful clear blue sky. For the last part of this active hour we started drumming... Drumming the sun down. Many thanks to those present who drummed - it really added to the occasion. The rest of us stood silently, watching and reflecting. The fact that we were watching a massive cloud in the distance behind which was the sun was neither here nor there.

 

As we became lost in our thoughts and entranced by the drumming, John turned to me and whispered "it's going to make an appearance you know, right on cue". I looked at my watch, 5 minutes to sundown and then it happened... The sun dropped beneath the cloud and Tara was awash with sunlight. A magical moment. As I marvelled at this, I was aware of another person joining us. I reached into my pocket and handed her a copy of the days proceedings, the tenth and last copy available. Of course. Then the sun disappeared and we knew that from this day on the darkness would rule our days until the wheel turned to Spring Equinox.

Now was time for quiet, calm reflection and meditation. As darkness fell a reading was read out that was done for our group recently which focused on Balance - inner balance and contemplation. "Once the natural state of balance is achieved, the plateau that will give you access to the higher self will be open before you." We also remembered those "tuning in" from all over the world as well as our ancestors. I felt that that we were spiritually connected to both groups.

 

After a short meditation on the energy of what some call Archangel Michael (Michaelmas = 29th Sept.), the group performed some much - needed grounding and the second, introspective hour was complete. After some more food and drink we dispersed to hopefully contemplate in the coming days/weeks/months on a rewarding experience.

 

And from one of the participants:

 

It was Autumn Equinox sunset and I stood with the group on Tara where the ground breaks away to the central plain. Equinox the final celebration of the year. The last harvest. The last of the brighter days.

Darkness was falling and the sun set behind a towering cumulo nimbus cloud..... winking out from the gap at the base before it set.

Night had begun. Winter was coming.

The losses of the year came to mind. That of Eileen and Sonia weighed most..... I bless you and I let you go into the twilight. Thanks I give for your friendship and influence you had on my course.

Honoured to have met - your creative  company,  a blessing I  wish on the world.

Looking west the setting sun to me is a brightening dawn to others.

“Why pine for us? “ they say. “We are reborn every moment and wait here much longer and we will rise behind you, reborn in this equinox dawn.”

 

cumulo nimbus 2

 

  Sunrise was followed by wind and rain - but on the Hill gaps in the clouds filled with blue

 

aut eq 2016 sunrise

aut eq 2016 3

 

 

aut eq 2016 1 aut eq 2016 2

 

 

aut eq 2016 tara

 

The following evening, Monday Meditation and Healing Circle, continued the focus on Equinox

 

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Below; The full moon near the equinox brightens the harbour of Kinvara. This is the watery west energy called in opening the directions

 

Autumn Equinox Moon

 

 Thanks to Kate and Mike for these photos of their trp to Wolfville, Nova Scotia - 'Took some photos of the pumpkin people. I think we figured out the overall theme was something like a zombie apocalypse perhaps, with the emergency vehicles and people seemingly running around.'

 

nova scotia 2016a nova scotia 2016e
nova scotia 2016 nova scotia 2016b

 

nova scotia 2016d nova scotia 2016c

 

 

 September 2015 - Sun, Moon and Me

ying-yang-autumn

At Equinox we move away from the summer's freewheeling dominant emotional and physical energies, towards the mental and spiritual realms supported by the study and introspection of winter.

Our intention in this gathering will be to acknowledge the seasonal energies, reviewing the past year, then coming to the centre of our being and acknowledging the blessed life we have on earth.

 

 Centre:

autumn equinox 2015 centre

God's Eye (to bring a blessing to the place and group) - felts (reminding us of animals preparing for winter), crystals (beauty of earth) - golden and silver boxes, sticks and wools


aut eq 2015 god's eye


The Festival Proclaimed

    I proclaim the festival of Autumn Equinox. We stand at a pivotal centre in the turning of the seasons. We stand at the threshold looking towards the extreme of Winter Solstice. Tonight each one of us shall pass over this threshold as we enter the dark half of the year.

    I proclaim the equilibrium of day and night. Just as the wheel of the year is the annual timekeeper, so the cycle of the day marks the sun and moon's journey across the sky. This time of Equinox corresponds to the evening of the year. This is the time of sunset; the time of gathering, of drawing in, of celebrating the riches of the second harvest, and of preparing for the night and for the winter yet to come. 

    I proclaim the counterbalance of summer and winter. The outer world gives forth its bounty, the grain is cut and threshed. And as the growing season ends and the seeds fall and sink into the dark earth to be nourished until the spring, so we give thanks for the riches of earth and the riches of our own lives.

    I proclaim the centre betwixt abundance of light and want of it. Balance lasts but a moment, for from this time on, darkness overcomes light. Night's shadow gains in strength and exceeds the length of daylight for a full half year until we reach the time of equinox again.


    Review of Tara Celebrations year.

aut eq 2015 tc cycle a


Sun and Moon meditation sharing Red Jasper as symbolic of the sun, Blue Aventurine for the moon.

aut eq 2015 in of the box
 

Creating a God's Eye symbol to bring blessings into our lives.

aut eq 2015 centrex


Open heart sharing.
Thank elements - Close directions - Food and drink including a spirit plate.

You might like to prepare by considering:
What has supported and sustained you physically during the year. eg. Home, food item.
What has brought joy to your heart, to your emotions, during the year. eg, a loved one, human or otherwise.
What has inspired your thoughts and ideas this year. eg. Piece of writing, course of study.
What has energised you spiritually, fired you up, this year. eg. Meditation, peaceful landscapes.
 

Marta and friends in Switzerland celebrated Equinox (Mabon) over a whole weekend.  Thanks to her for these words and pictures.

Ceres moneyconjurecard3 - Kopie

We spent this weekend celebrating the Goddess Ceres along with Mabon. Sunday we made conjure cards, money themed, because that was a specifically good day for this. Meeting Ceres was joyous in an almost bubbly way. We hadn't worked with Her before, so this was very good and also interesting. Each of us had a different experience, yet the basic was the same. Interesting! Joy, strength, love...

Ceres3 Ceres4

  

On Sunday we made cards. The cards can be very complex or then a bit more simple, such as a card for protection for a whole year (they're always meant for one year, then you have to make new ones). We made money themed ones and had fun doing that, though the energies were intense. The room heated up like a sauna, no kidding. We've had this happening before, but it's always an interesting experience. Work like this can basically soak you, it can make you run for the loo like silly lol, it can exhaust you, it can make you super hungry (we've had this in Fourknocks before, yep)... and so on. You never know what will happen and it's always an interesting experience.  The heat today may well be in connection of Sun energy, because Sunday, because the Sun works with money-abundance-energy, too.

 

moneyconjurecard2

 

11 October 2014 - Deireah Fhomhair

Thanks to Susan and Anne for these photos

 

Saturday 11 October 2014 - 2pm at Fourknocks -  The theme for the get together is Deireah Fhomhair - last harvest.

 

FourKnocks 010 - snowberries



Please bring something from the list below, or just bring yourself:  Wear layers and clothes suited to the day and being outside.  Something for the centre that for you is a symbol of the autumn season (leaves, berries, home made jams). You will take this away with you.  Something symbolic to giveaway for the lucky dip. Ideas are a stone, shell, sweet, a feather, a bead, a flower.

the low autumnal sunbeams light up the doorway, while the inner light is in the dark 'cave'.FourKnocks 008 outer and inner light

your eyes adjust to the darkness quickly, but for photography a flash helps.FourKnocks 005 - entrance

a great idea, put LED lights in a jam jar, an effective symbol of our inner light and also excellent for lighting a dark space

FourKnocks 009 - clever light

the drum that welcomed us with a heartbeat, red bowl that contained the chaff we released, 2  stones we played together in the Stone symphony orchestra (Rock Band)... our symbolic centreFourKnocks 003

The chain of this cycle's celebrations

FourKnocks 014 - chain

links

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Seasonal food to share at the end Feast - it was lovely to sit ouside, looking northwards eating apple pie and other goodies, and to have a hot drink.

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 o o o O O O o o o

On arrival open sacred space.    Meditative review of the year walking around outside of Fourknocks.

Into the cave - create the central altar. Acknowledge the four cardinal directions plus centre and place four quarter markers.


We consider what represents the chaff and grain in our own lives. What are you disgarding? What are you keeping to nourish you through the winter? There will be gentle meditative drumming to the heart beat of Mother Earth and anything else that arises for the main Designer spontaneously.


Giveaway lucky dip, symbolic of sharing our harvest.

Open heart is a chance for everyone to share their own creativity, in song, short story, dance - whatever inspires you in this season.

  o o o O O O o o o

Misty autumnal morning - looking across the Gabhra valley from Tara to Skryne

2nd november view of skryne from Tara

 

Marta has kindly shared these photos and words about their autumn celebration in Switzerland

equinox in switzerland

We felt like combining the harvest along with the happiness of a colourful autumn - hence the *fun* items on the table (fluffies...), and also there's an altar for the Goddess and the God hidden in there. One spots it when looking closly at the items that symbolize them.

Our celebrations consisted of a gathering, a coming together and celebrating what we have, also a thinking back on what we've achieved and what yet has to be worked on.

And also the creating of a prosperity / abundance pouch for each of us.

fluffy autumn

 

thanks to Bernadette for these evocative photos of Autumn in Ireland
eq 2013 butterfly eq 2013 leaf
eq 2013 eq 2013 elderberry

 

7 September 2013 - Review and Way Forward - Tara

Autumn Equinox 2013 eight people gathered to review the organisation and operation of Tara Celebrations.  During that meeting the eight agreed that one individual would be Designer for one of the 8 festival gatherings, starting Samhain 2013.  Each is responsible for calling where and when it is held and the content of the event.  Information is shared about this via email and this website.

2013 autumn equinox candle

22 September 2012 - Colin's Journey the Chrysalis Phase

Many thanks to Bernadette and Anne for the following photographs.

Colin

 colins Journey symbol

 Colin's Journey - Chrysalis Phase

At our meal, prior to the planning meditation, we were delighted to have a delicious chocolate cake, made in the shape of Colin the Caterpillar. And this inspired us to think about how, just as the caterpillar has eaten through the abundance and lush plants of summer and now creates a cocoon to live in, until it is time to transform into a butterfly, so in our lives this is the season when we close the door to the outer world and prepare to go inwards. As we move from autumn towards Samhain and winter, we are going into the chrysalis phase of our lives. 

But we cannot take everything into the chrysalis with us. Autumn is a time for stock taking, reviewing and checking the store cupboards. What is left over? What have we not used during the year? What is 'past its sell by date' that we can get rid of to make space for the fresh harvest goodies that will see us through the coming winter scarcity? It is time to release the old and return it to earth, adding to the compost heap if we have one. The store cupboards must be cleansed in preparation for re-stocking. Just as we tidy the store cupboards so we clear our own lives.

 

When we compared our meditations for the gathering we found that moving over the land in procession, symbolically from the dark to the light, to our festive joyous inner light, was a dominant theme.  We are aware that we are now moving from a time of equal light and dark into the winter season of shorter day light hours. But when we are in this dark space, we actually go within ourselves, and there we find our own light.

 

Shining elderberries remind us of the autumn harvest.

elderberries

 

Walking between a male and female we  were brushed with rosemary, mint, montbretia for cleansing and remembering.herbs for cleansing

Welcoming all energies with the interweaving voices of male and female we acknowledge the centre, then the directions, starting at the east and ending in the north, prepared to go into the night and dark. Is that Colin in the clouds?

north direction

nettle walk

 We make a 'dark' journey by walking in silent procession across a field of nettles to two standing stones led by a charismatic figure with beautiful carved staff.

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staff

We bless the stones with water from the Tara Holy Well, which has many names including St. Patrick's Well, Well of the Dark Eye, Well of the White Cow, Well of the Numbering of the Clans.  The land is also blessed with water, spilt out in the outline of an eternity symbol.   We pass between the stones, signaling the move from outer darkness to our own bright light.

 water from holy well tara 1  water from holy well tara 2

 

We then process, connecting to our colourful inner light, down the field to St. Bernards Well.  In the trees is an elephant - reminding us that this is Elephant Appreciation Day.

elephant

In a procession of light, towards the south, we walk through a field of thistles.

 

Dowth procession of light through field of thistles

light into the dark light into the dark 2

A bowl of secret messages wrapped in autumn leaves paper to help identify what to  release & what to retain  for our time in the winter chrysalis.  The word chrysalis has its origin in the Greek chrysos  meaning gold.  Thus we continue the gold theme of this whole year.

 

a bowl of secret messages and tokens to help release & retain for our time in the chrysalis

 Our personal chrysalis - symbolised by standing in a hula hoop delineating our own space, and wrapping up in colourful scarves.

colourful scarves and messages wrapped in autum leaves paper

We sang to acknowledge the elements of earth, air, fire and water and circle danced.

Cerys enjoyed jumping through the hoop.

cerys jumped through the hoops

 

Sharing our inspirations with Open Heart contributions, one participant read St. Patrick's Breastplate.

 

We finished with tea, biscuits and flapjack.  There was a relaxed contentment in the air, with buzzards circling overhead.

 

The name Dowth derives from the Irish Dubhadh, which means 'darkness'. Once all our plans were agreed we thought to find out what the name Colin means and were surprised to discover this also has a meaning of 'dark', from the Old Norse name Koli.  We now understood why Colin had joined us for the meal and to inspire the gathering.

 

If you cannot make it to Dowth in person, you might like to light a candle on the 22nd and join with us 'in spirit'.

 

Clearing the Email list - Every year Tara Celebrations has its own clearing of the stock cupboard by closing and deleting the e-mail list. If you like what we do and how we do it, and would like to keep in touch, all you have to do is reply to this email – no need to add a message. This is your commitment to the group that you have an active interest in a living energetic process.  You can also click here.

 

All blessings from the Equinox team of Anne, Tom, Bernie, Bernadette, John and Nora.

   

24 September 2011 - Winding Down, The End of the Journey

equinox center 2011

 

Gurbh maith agat for each and every one of you who have signed up for our e-mail notifications over the course of the year, those who tune in at a distance- literally from all over the world, those that travel to the celebrations and those that find it inspirational and fun. We have received much warm feedback and have had people plan their foreign holidays around the celebrations, so that we know we must be doing something right.

marram grass mornington

south bull

Autumnal Equinox Blessings to all -

Its Lughnasadh Equinox and a time for natural endings and as such it is our last Celebration of the year before our re-emergence at Samhain at the start of the next Celtic cycle.

 

 Mornington Beach, Co. Louth

3 cup bearers of nachtainBoyne at Baltraymornington boyne

 

What’s Happening in Nature

Autumnal Equinox, Sun in Libra, Moon in Leo with Chiron rising, Day and Night of equal length, but from this point onward Night shall have the upper hand. The nights will get longer than the days. The temperature will get colder and the plants will start to die back, but give a grand finale of the autumnal colours. Harvest predominates the agricultural year and we can settle into the leaner, harsher times of winter living off the harvest of the Autumn. Of course those in the Southern Hemisphere have summer to look forward to.

 

Deletion of E-mail list

By the time you read this we will have closed and deleted the e-mail list. If you like what we did and how we did it you can always put in the effort to sign up again, this is your commitment to the group that you have an active interest in a living energetic process. All you have to do is send an e-mail to: martin.dier@gmail.com be included on the 2011-2012 list. (Simple!)

 

south bull2

Underlying energies

Autumn Equinox is a time for recall, reflection, remembering . A time when we pause to consider in the light of mature recollection how we have invested our time and energy in; family, projects, relationships, social activities, education and improvements. It is a time to harvest that which has been productive for us and a time to remove the chaff from the kernel truth of our experiences. It gives us time to reconsider where we are investing energy and where we are going, especially since we are heading into lean and challenging times. Everything that is false will be challenged to pass away . It is a time for testing what we are made from, gathering the great delights of our soul and being grateful for all that we have experienced over the last 12 months. So our celebration this year will focus on Release and Gratefulness.

 

Overview of the Celebration

We will meet on Mornington beach, where the River Boyne ends her great journey, at 6pm, close to the turning of the tide. (But why not join us for a picnic at 5pm prior to the celebration).

 

spiral

spiral symbolGratefulness and Remembering:

There we will bring the fruits of the harvest to the centre of our circle acknowledging the time of season of the year within as well as without. We will remember our Journey through the Year as a group, marking on the sand each Tara Celebration as a picture or symbol that we are acknowledging and release to the universe.

 

 

Release:

Then conscious that we are individuals as well as a group we will each draw our own individual human sized spirals and within them we shall mark each unresolved situation within us. We do this by drawing a tightening spiral to signify that we are turning off energy to this unproductive issue. We will then gather water from the River Boyne and symbolically wash away some of the mini spirals leaving the rising tide and the Grace of the God(ess) to totally transform and erase all our unresolved energies.

 

spiral sun set

Open Heart – Everyone then gets a chance to share something of themselves perhaps in word, song, or artistic expression - ideas that have inspired them during the year.

Celebration: We will then come together as a group to celebrate with food and fun our endings to better enable us to celebrate the cycles of our lives.

 

Le Grá agus Solas - With Love and Light

The Tara Celebrations Team - www.TaraCelebrations.org

 spiral light

 

 

 

Buíochas - Thank you - to everyone who came, participated and helped out-  Anne in the taking of pictures, John and Eileen in the food preperation and All who sat through a night of brainstorming to hammer out what was a beautiful spirit filled celebration.

 

spiral3

spiral1

 spiral2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mornington11

Diary Dates

 6pm Tara Celebrations: Winding Down – The End of the Journey”,

Directions

Driving from the south pass through Bettystown and into Mornington with golf course and sea on right. At the first sharp left bend take the right hand road towards the beach.  Pass under the height bar into the car parking area.  If you get to the Texaco / Centra on the right you have gone too far.

Driving from the north, as you enter the housing area at Mornington you will see the Tower on your left.  Continue past the Texaco / Centra and where the road takes a sharp right you continue straight on, under the height bar and into the parking area.

Car parking area [circled] - this has large and deep potholes so drive with caution.  After the height bar, there is a large black domed construction surrounded by railings and with metal ladder, and one storey buildings, on the right side of the road.  You can park amongst the sand dunes in this area. But hide any valuables out of sight. (map attached)

 

Mornington map

21 September 2010 - Endings & Rememberings - Dowth

Many thanks to Anne, Bernadette and Sean for the photos.....

Walking past Dowth monument we arrived in the natural amphitheatre of St. Bernard's Well

arriving

dowth amphiteathre

st bernards

 cricket bernie

Grasshopper was kind enough to share his corner of the field with us.

End of the year

In the modern world we usually assume that the day begins with dawn and ends with dusk.  However for the Celts we know that they believed that night preveded the dayand they started the timing of their days at night.  Similarly they believe that the year was born out of the darkness of winter so Samhain was their New Year.  That makes Autumn (Lughnasadh) Equinox the end of the celebratory year.  A carry over from that tradition is still with us everytime we celebrate things like Christmas Eve, Halloween or Hallowed Eve, Mid Summer Eve or St. John's Eve.

brigit bernie

 

Some of the folded up banners that were untied for the end of the ritual, Brigit puts on her dark winter cloak and begins her transition to the Cailleach.

The scales (Sun now in Libra) reminds us of the balance of night and day, Anne had a bottle of Florida water in there and Conquers were threaded for a match in which the ultimate prize was the golden conquer.

There's also a flowery head band, some crystals, nuts, seasonal fruits and water collected from St. Kierans  well near Carnaross. 

brigid

 

The broad theme of this celebration is endings and re-memberings. When we choose one course of action over another we end the possibilities of the other.

When we harvest the food from our gardens we end the growth and ripening and end the time we spent caring for the crops wellbeing. We also take time to re-member or to re-collect scattered memories from our past so that we may “live and journey here”.  This is why in this celebration we will be calling in the direction or energy of “Time” .

 

After calling in or re-membering the directions we will construct a radial pattern  with coloured cloth to represent each of the eight  celebrations, gathering in the energy of that celebration.  A meditation and poem should assist in this. Berni will prepare a dark winter cloak for the Bridóg who will end being the fertile woman persona and will start to embody more of the Cailleach persona.  Then we will do a simple anti-clockwise circle dance and push the energy deep under ground in complete reversal to what we did for the summer solstice.  This time of the year also presents us with obstacles so we will represent that by playing a conquer tournament and then invite people to harvest their own minds to share memories of the past.  If you cannot be there in person we can of course read out, on your behalf, anything you wish to send via e-mail saying why it is important to you.

  

conquers bernie   golden conker

Let the games begin.......                and the prize is......               a golden conker          

 

IMG 4589

autumn equinox 2010

 

The Symbol:  

This year the symbol that arose spontaneously and essentially instantly

was based on the idea of the number 8 ,with the upper worlds being mirrored

on earth, and on the 8 spokes of the (pre) Celtic year. Combining these

concepts (on the 8th Sept) brought out this symbol based on simple shapes

which include;

 

The sun, the closing of the sun flower, the rotary blades of a combine harvester, the balance at this time of year between the day and night, sun rising and setting directly opposite each other on the horizon line, Brigit with plats in her hair opposite the Cailleach also in plats, yin and yang, 8 celebrations of the year, cycle of the moon, At least 12 sickles,  The eyes open , The eyes closed, amongst other things.

 

 dance

Doing the circle dance of the year to Pachelbel's Canon in D

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touching the earth with love and the ritual center

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 Unfurling the spokes of the 8 fold year to become flags

mushrooms 

 Many thanks to  Davide and Stefania for sharing this verse at the celebration: 

Oh Grano Maturo  Oh, Ripe Grain

Nella terra di primavera sei stato protetto, oh grano,  In the land of Spring you have been protected, oh grain,

nel sole d'estate sei diventato maturo, of grano,  in the summer sun you became mature, oh grain,

tra cielo e terra sospeso per una vita, grano maturo,  between heaven and earth for a life, ripe grain,

oggi noi ti raccognliamo per l'ultima volta.  today we will gather you for the last time.

 

Brighit, madre della primavera tuo figlio trovera il suo cammino,  Brighit, mother of spring your son will find his way,

Lugh, padre dell'estate il tuo seme trovera il suo cammino,  Lugh, father of the summer, your seed will find its way,

tra cielo e terra sospeso per una vita, grano maturo,  between heaven and earth for a life, ripe grain,

oggi noi ti raccogliamo per l'ultima volta.  today we will gather you for the last time.

 

Accompagnaci nell'inverno, tramutati in cibo,   Guide us in the winter, turned into food,

letto e tetto per le nostre case,    bed and roof for our houses,

portaci le gioie che porta un bambino in casa,  bring the joys of carrying a baby in the house,

cresci con noi diventa uomo, oh grano.  grow with us, becomes a man, oh grain.

 

entrance gateway

 The entrance gates onto Dowth.  In our ceremony we remembered to 'knock at the door', as you would when visiting friends or neighbours,

before entering the space where we were to hold the gathering.   In spiritual terms you might say that we were connecting to the guardians and spirits of the place asking for permis

 

sion to enter. 

leaves1

 

A short ode to endings…

 

The summer ends; the fall begins

Not all my chores are done.

I’ve tried and tried

My best besides to start the season done.

But alas, alack, summer’s now past

The autumn begins a new.

 

The leaves will fall

The rake will come out

And jumping the piles will begin

by Edaine one of our distance celebrators

leaves2

20 September 2009 - Thanks to Mother

A Chairde,

brigid cailleach


Thank you for being with us on the Journey throughout the year. 
I hope it has been a year full of growth and learning as it has been for us at Tara Celebrations.  Within the past 13 moons we have visited Mullameen forest and built diva temples,  Fourknocks to intone the primordial sound, Tara saw us decorate the church with help from the girl guides, and the beach to inscribe a magical labyrinth. We also did ceremony for the gathering of the ancestors, fulfilled ancient prophecy by melting the ice in the heart of man, we even burnt a bundle of money!

We have also seen the departure of beloved Mary, Des and Yamann from the design group.  (Best of luck guys).  Without their input we would not have gotten into the amount of devilment that we have done over the last 5 years!


 

leaf1

 

 

As I write this last TaraCelebrations bulletin for the end of the (pre-Celtic) year the autumnal sun is beating down (at long last). We are planning a ceremony on Tara based around "Thanks to the mother", a ceremony designed to honour the bounty that we have been provided with by our mother earth.  Its autumn equinox, a time when the days and nights move into balance and marks the end of the harvest season. From now on we will be depending on the reserves we have been nurturing and dropping that which no longer serves. This is enacted in nature by the apple who must say farewell to the security of the tree, the apple then falls and decays in order to release the vital seed. If we similarly do not die to that which no longer serves we too may become stagnated. Deleting E-Mail list - On an energy level to release the past year I will be deleting the contact list to make room for a healthy new beginning. We did this last year and it seems to have been a great success. So if you wish to be kept informed of our activity on the hill and surrounds you must send me an e-mail to be put onto the new list.

bud1

Below the leafy center of our autumn mandalla, each stick representing a spoke in the 8 fold year.

We placed each stick remembering the previous productive year. 

DSC03546

sacred circle

We will meet at the main car park gate on Sunday 20th September at 3.00pm. Then we will walk to the woodland (western side of the hill).
Collect coloured leaves,  create the sacred space,  Walk in balance with Brigid and her opposite the Caileach.  Drumming for the mother, 
leaf blessing.  Open Heart contributions (songs, poems, dance, stories).  Farewell to the year.

The Churn (The seasonal food celebration after the toil of harvest)

 Below: From John's Leaf Blessing

leaf2

The Symbol

 Autumn Equinox 1

I suppose we were inspired to create this symbol of the equinox during our planning meeting.

It can be read at many different levels and represents:

  1. The Sickle of Autumnal harvest cutting the corn

  2. Waxing, waning new and full moons ( We are holding the ceremony on a new moon)

  3. Healing hands and the creative/healing space inside

  4. Look deeply and you will also see 2 hands holding a heart

  5. It's also 2 hands beating a drum

  6. 2 hands holding the sun, moon, earth, the atom, a flower blossom

  7. 2 intersecting Vesica Pices door way to the sacred

  8. The open eye

  9. Balance

 

Below: We had a "Churn" after the ceremony eating what nature and Tom and Anne provided us. This Lady Bird was joining in too.

DSC03563 

Below the magnificant setting of our Autumn Equinox ceremony 2009

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Some feedback from Anne:

Held on 20 09 2009  !!!  2+9+2+2 = 22 Master number 

[master builder number: operates for the good of others, brings spirit into matter, creates for higher good, sensitive to subtle vibrations, highly intuitive, turns dreams into reality, successful outcomes, ]

Here we go again At a time of balance it made us think about it 'cause we had to balance ourselves on the slope!

8th Ceremony 8  sideways is like a scale  and balance. - equinox

Loved the setting -  8 trees from the Ogham list stood around us. Elder, Pine, Oak,  Hawthorn, Gorse, Blackberry, Wildrose, Ash. ---- *  and the horsechestnut makes the Celtic sacred number 9

The Mandala looked great.  8 sections - and the sickles for balance -  looked almost like a see-saw.   (or sickle and ploughshare)

The Swallows swooping over head like sickles. (isn't it late for them?)

A butterfly kept flying in and out of the circle over the afternoon- tranformation and change

We all turned over a new(old) leaf!! :-)

The smudge reminded me of the autumn fires. the smoke rising in the air.

I love the way the chestnut tree has the conkers, the new buds and the old leaves

Autumnal Poem

Equal day and equal night,

the wheel turns 'round.

The dark half of the year calls,

The harvest's safe and sound.

Long nights by the fire,

Inside warm cosy walls.

Outside in the cold dark air

The dark Cailleach calls.


Time for resting.
Time for dreaming.
Time for just being.

Anne

Below: one of the magical pine trees clearing the ley lines near our ceremony

pine1

Celebrating the finale of the celtic year before its rebirth at Samhain

sacred corn

Sacred native corn rich in colour grown from seeds used in out Tara Ceremonies. 100% organic and as native to Ireland as the humble spud!

Equinox is the end of the Celtic year when day and night are experienced in equal measure, a time to take a deep breath before diving into the darkness of winter. It is a time for considering the polarities in life such as; light and dark, poverty and abundance, living and dying, lofty ideals and grounding reality. Even the trees, who all summer moved sap up into the leaves, change, and start to pump it down into their roots. This date is a cardinal marker for the year and was considered sacred as far back as 5000 years ago when our Neolithic ancestors constructed solar aligned monuments (Cairn T Loughcrew) to mark the precise moment in time when the earth was in balance. The Greeks also had an understanding of the yearly cycles. They left us the legacy of Libra (the scales/balance), the constellation the sun moves into at this time of the year.

It is also a time of year when we are conscious of the travails of harvest and the work that people do to bring foods, goods and services to fruition. They are developing the resources we need to survive during the lean of winter.

 

September 2009 and a few days sun in which the late flowers and fruits glow and the insects share nectar

- then a misty Michaelmas day  & spiders webs appear

12909 fuschia michaelmas day 09

bee butterfly

Below: Gráinneog or Hedgehog in Nobber

hedgehog

 and yet we know....

the weather is noticeably getting colder and although not severe it is a firm reminder to prepare, that winter is on its way.

2008 - Harvest Thanksgiving- Tara

equinox symbol

Our ritualised meditation/ceremony on the Hill in 2008 honoured these principals through, meditation, reflection, and symbolic gestures.

The underlying energy is one of balance; retreating within and building resources,planning ahead and thanks for what has been, actively harvesting in the outer world whilst slowing down to dream a new world on the inner.  We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day which will bring bright memories in the dark of winter

 

 equinox apples  equinox crystal

and sunset at the well brought a surprise when the photo was scanned

 equinox sunset at well

 We gifted two gorse bushes to the hedge around the well

gorse pre-soak  gorse north gorse south

Spring Equinox 2010 - the southerly plant has died but the northerly one thrives & 18 Jan 2011 & 24 April 2011

DSCF5462  furze at well jan 2011 tara spring gorze 2011

Spring Equinox 2013 - the plant has reached the top of the fencing

gorse 20 3 2013

 

2007 - Dream Bag into winter

We met at the gate entrance onto the Hill, and centred, grounded and protected symbolically and intentionally before acknowledging the season and its attributes.  We then walked across the hill and created a centre, shared smudge and light, and called in the cardinal direction;s energies.  We created dream bags actively harvesting from the outer world in order that we could dream on the inner world.  The energetic vibration of the day was 5, the throat chakra.  We spoke our truth, demonstrating the power of intention and sending healing intentions to self, others and the planet.    We faced the cold reality of winter.

Page last updated: 29th Nov 2016